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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 665 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 02.
were written under great afflictions; yet was he not willing to use the remedy of Zelim, the son of the great Turk Mahomet, who took Constantinople, and died in Rome, who used to make himself drunk, that he might forget the high estate from which he had fallen.  Neither would he follow the councils of many of his friends, in withdrawing from the kingdom; saying, he had rather resemble Timocles the Athenian, than the Roman Coriolanus.  For all which, this treatise ought to receive favour from your grace, allowing for any oversights of the author, if there be any such, as I am unfit to detect or correct then.  God prosper your grace with long life, and increase of honour.”

[1] Oxford Collection, II. 353.  Clarke, Progr. of Marit.  Disc.  I. App 1.

[2] Oxford Collection, I. viii.

SECTION I.

Epitome of the Ancient and Modern Discoveries of the World, chiefly by means of Navigation, from the Flood to the close of the Fifteenth Century.

When I first desired to compose an account of the ancient and modern discoveries by sea and land, with their true dates and situations, these two principal circumstances seemed involved in such difficulty and confusion, that I had almost desisted from the attempt.  Even in regard to the date of the flood, the Hebrews reckon that event to have happened 1656 years after the creation:  while the seventy interpreters make it 2242; and St Augustine extends the time to 2262 years[1].  In regard to geographical situations, likewise, there are many differences; for there never sailed ten or an hundred pilots in one fleet, but they made their reckonings in almost as many different longitudes.  But considering that all these difficulties might be surmounted, by just comparison, and the exercise of judgment, I at length resolved to persist in my undertaking.

Some allege that the world was fully known in ancient times; for, as it was peopled and inhabited, it must have been navigable and frequented; and because the ancient people were of longer lives, and had all one law and one language, they could not fail to be acquainted with the whole world.  Others again believe, that though the world might be once universally known by mankind, yet, by the wickedness of man, and the want of justice among nations, that knowledge has been lost.  But as all the most important discoveries have been made by sea, and that chiefly in our own times, it were desirable to learn who were the first discoverers since the flood.  Some allege the Greeks, others the Phenicians, while others say the Egyptians.  The inhabitants of India, on the contrary, pretend that they were the first navigators; particularly the Tabencos, whom we now call Chinese; and allege in proof of this, that they were lords of all the Indies, even to Cape Bona Speranca, and the island of St Lawrence[2], which is inhabited by them; as likewise all the coasts of the Indian seas, also the Javas, Timores, Celebes,

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